• Burma’s human rights situation remains poor despite some noteworthy actions by the government toward reform. In April 2012, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party swept nearly all the seats contested in a parliamentary by-election, but a large majority of seats in Burma’s lower house are controlled by the government party and the military. The Burmese government released several hundred prisoners since 2011, although a small number remain behind bars, and an roughly a couple hundred face charges. While some laws have been amended, repressive laws remain. The army targeted civilians in armed conflict with the Kachin minority group. After violence erupted between Arakanese Buddhists and the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, state security forces took part in abuses against the Rohingya.

  • A man looks at burning buildings after rioters attacked a mosque and Muslim businesses during riots at Oakkan village, 100 km (60 miles) north of Yangon on April 30, 2013.
    Burma’s improved rights record in 2013 was undermined by renewed violence against the Muslim minority and setbacks in law reform.